Michael Caspar, German by origin, has been in the position of General Manager of the Radisson Collection Hotel, Old Mill Belgrade since October 1st. During his long career in the hotel industry, he has held leadership positions in hotels worldwide. At Radisson Collection, Old Mill Hotel, he will be responsible for the hotel operation with a focus on growth, development and implementation of a clear strategy to meet the company's upcoming challenges and future in Belgrade. Let’s give him a warm welcome.
Respected Mr. Caspar, welcome to Belgrade. I believe that you will here, considering your stay and work in Croatia, also fill nearly like at home. Thank you very much for you first interview for Turisticki Svet.
● You were born in Germany, but you have very serious long-term international career in hotel industry. How did you build your career? Which hotel brands have you met so far? Where did you work?
- Unfortunately, I did not build or plan my career. I just took opportunities that came my way. During my career I had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing hotels in Germany and around the world: Radisson Blu Resort Split (Croatia) and Crete (Greece), InterContinental Resort Berchtesgaden (Germany), One & Only Resort Maldives, Maritim Hotel Frankfurt (Germany), Seehotel Überfahrt (Rottach Egern, Germany), Schlosshotel Buehlerhoehe Resort Baden Baden (Germany), NH Hotels Duesseldorf and Frankfurt (Germany), Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel Frankfurt (Germany), Golf Resort Schloss Luedersburg (Germany), THE RIO Suite Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Nevada (USA), Sales for Kempinski Hotels in Hamburg.
My biggest inspiration: exceptional customer service
● What have led you all these years? What personal qualities did, in your opinion, define you as a leader?
- Honesty, dependability, fairness and a desire to make the people around me successful.
● What is your biggest inspiration in hotel business? What do you believe in? Which values do you stand for in life and in business? What do you strive for? What is your life motto?
- By coincidence, I landed an apprenticeship position in a luxury hotel in Munich. In enjoyed having customer contact and it was a great experience rotating through every department and really learning the hotel business. I believe in equality, fairness and treating every team member in the same respectful way. My biggest inspiration is to see my team deliver exceptional customer service, making that extra effort to perform better and grow together.
● One of your most important tasks as a leader is development of human resources, operations, communications, markets... and certainly your personal development, as well. What do you focus on?
- As the new General Manager, first you have to observe and learn what kind of hotel you are joining, getting to know the management team and the local market. After that phase 1, you need to make up your mind which changes you want to execute and prioritize them. The key for making changes is to communicate my expectations very clearly. Everybody needs to buy in and to move in the same direction.
The property with great vibe…
● Radisson Collection Hotel, Old Mill Belgrade is a new challenge in your career. The hotel is well founded, positioned, has developed communication with the market and the local environment… What was the first thing you noticed? Was it “the love at first sight"?
- In January 2018, was the first time I visited the Radisson Collection Hotel, Old Mill Belgrade. It was only for one day but the thing I noticed immediately was the incredible design. It is truly a landmark building for Belgrade and an iconic part of the history of the city. This property has this great vibe and unique intimate feeling.
● What is your vision for the development of this hotel? What are the goals you set as a leader, and what are for your associates? What does, actually, the company expect from you, and what do you expect from the company?
- The Radisson Hotel Group expects me to improve the performance of the hotel and I expect the best support possible. It is too early for visions, I am still in the observation process. I am spending time with my management team in order to get used to each other.
I will “shake the tree a little bit”
● Where do you see the opportunity for improvement, and for changes? What will be your first moves?
- I am taking a lot of notes every day, trying to get to know everybody, getting a feel for the property and the market. In early November we will have an employee meeting and I will use that forum to give direction, to “shake the tree a little bit” and to communicate my findings and priorities.
● How do you see the future of the Radisson Collection Hotel, Old Mill Belgrade? What would be, in your opinion, your personal contribution of leadership that will mark the time and work at this hotel?
- I spent over two and a half years at the Radisson Blu Resort in Split and my former colleagues remember me for making the hotel more successful and profitable, without saving on manpower or any cost cutting. This enabled me to give a lot of raises and promotions. I can achieve that here in Belgrade, I would be very satisfied.